Down the Procurement Pub with Optimum, Xchanging, Trade Extensions and Rae Morris

We missed Down the Procurement Pub last week as I was skiing, so rather than a pub scene, let’s have the desserts table at the Hotel Beausite in Zermatt (special gala dinner night) from last week. It is an excellent hotel, highly recommended if you ever need somewhere in Zermatt ...

Anyway, there have been a number of contract wins and business development announcements in recent weeks, so let’s dig into a few of those today.


In the outsourcing world, Xchanging has won a outsourcing deal with Brambles, an Australian head-quartered supply-chain logistics company, operating in more than 50 countries, primarily through the CHEP and IFCO brands. “The group specialises in the pooling of unit-load equipment and the provision of associated services, focusing on the outsourced management of returnable pallets, crates and containers”. The new three and a half-year contract builds on Xchanging’s contract with subsidiary company CHEP Europe for the last five years, now focusing on indirect spend around the world for Brambles. It’s the first big outsourcing contract win for Chirag Shah, the relatively new CEO of the procurement business within Xchanging – well done to him and the firm.


Meanwhile Optimum, the Manchester-based procurement outsourcing and advisory firm, announced a new office in Dubai and new leadership with Mark Fadel, ex Emirates National Bank, Citi Bank & Nokia taking over as our General Manger for the region, reporting directly to founder Peter Rushton. Optimum has been active in the Middle East since 2012, principally operating as a delivery partner for The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) delivering CIPS Corporate Certification and Supply Transformation Services to a wide range of leading organisations.


Trade Extensions announced the launch of their TESS Academy™ - an on-line training resource for users of its sourcing and optimisation platform. “The TESS Academy offers a structured learning path from novice to expert user and provides individuals with an accreditation that will become recognised within the sourcing and optimisation industries”. We’re going to be taking a closer look at it shortly and will report back.

We have also heard rumours that the firm has recruited a very senior executive from one of their main competitors – he is currently on gardening leave but will be playing a major role for Trade Extensions in Germany and the adjacent regions soon, we understand.


Years and Years won the BBC Sound of 2015 award last week. It’s hardly a radical choice, they have already had one big hit and make a very pleasant dance/pop noise like lots of other bands, with a lead singer who is also a really talented actor. Personally, I can take it or leave it. But there are a couple of artists in the BBC top 10 list I prefer, including Rae Morris, who looks like she might fill a Florence-shaped gap until Ms Welch returns with some new stuff.

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